Hinsdale Votes to Increase Village Sales Tax
Money will be used to improve Hinsdale's streets and sewers.
The voters have spoken. After three failed attempts, the referendum to increase the sales tax in Hinsdale from 7.25 percent to 8.25 percent has passed. The money will be used to fund repairs and improvements to Hinsdale's streets and sewers.
It was an uphill battle to get this measure passed, and Village Manager Dave Cook says it couldn't have happened without the efforts of concerned members of the community.
"A lot of people put a lot of work into getting this passed. It was truly a grassroots effort. I am very happy that it passed," said Cook.
John Karstrand, a former president of the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce and current member of the village Economic Development Commission, was one of the champions of the referendum. He led a series of small neighborhood meetings to get people talking about how the sales tax increase would benefit the village.
"Part of the allure of coming to Hinsdale is the quaint shops and the tree-lined streets in our business districts. Pothole-ridden streets diminish that experience. Now we'll be able to make repairs to those streets," said Karstrand.
The village mailed out a series of informational newsletters and pamphlets to residents to explain why the referendum was needed, letting people know that "almost half of Hinsdale's streets are either in poor or deplorable conditions," "over 60 areas in Hinsdale have serious flooding problems" and some fire hydrants, " have insufficient water flows to fight a house fire."
The Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce publicly endorsed the referendum's passage in September. It already had the support of Village President Tom Cauley and most of the village board members, but their roles as village officials kept them from being able to fight for it publicly.
The village expects the referendum to generate an additional $1.5 million in revenues a year for Hinsdale's Master Infrastructure Plan, which is expected to cost $86.8 million over the next 15 years.
The Chamber of Commerce believes that approximately 60 percent of the revenue generated will come from non-residents. It is not concerned about any possible negative impact on businesses, because the new sales tax rate is still equal to or lower than many rates in the surrounding suburbs.
Regarding the passage of the referendum he fought so hard for, Karstrand said," This referendum will benefit not just the resident of Hinsdale, but also businesses in the town."
The referendum passed 59 to 41 percent with 6700 voters weighing in on the decision.